Parler Drops, Refiles Lawsuit Against Amazon

Phil Hall
·2 min read

The social media site Parler has dropped an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) it filed two months ago.

What Happened: Parler, which is viewed as a right-wing alternative to Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), was booted from the cloud-hosting service Amazon Web Services in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riot Jan. 6.

Amazon stated it would not “provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” an allegation that Parler executives denied.

Parler sued Amazon in federal court for the Western District of Washington, charging the company with making a politically motivated decision to support Twitter while stressing it played no role in orchestrating the mayhem of Jan. 6.

Parler, which fully restored its web service on Feb. 15, offered no explanation on why it decided to drop its January lawsuit.

What Happens Next: Fox News has reported that Parler immediately refiled its lawsuit, alleging that Amazon protected Twitter and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) from potential competition. Parler said it was valued at around $1 billion before it was dropped from AWS and has suffered acute reputational and financial damage.

"The true reason why AWS decided to suspend and/or terminate its contract with Parler was not because of any alleged breach of the contract, but because AWS did not want Parler to be able to provide a new platform to conservative voices, including Donald Trump, or to compete effectively with other microblogging platforms such as Twitter," Parler attorney Angelo Calfo wrote in the new lawsuit.

Trump never had an account on Parler during his presidency and has not created one since leaving office.

An Amazon spokesperson told Benzinga that Parler's allegations are meritless.

"AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow," the spokesperson said.

"However, as shown by the evidence in Parler’s federal lawsuit, it was clear that there was significant content on Parler that encouraged and incited violence against others, which is a violation of our terms of service."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comment from Amazon.

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